Deliverr merchant Huggaroo, based in Nashville, TN, designs and manufactures comfort and wellness products for children and adults. Some of their most popular products include microwavable heating pads, heated or cooling eye masks, and weighted blankets.
Huggaroo Founder and CEO Wendy Jordanov has a PhD in Educational Psychology and was a college professor before starting Huggaroo with her husband, Dr Martin Jordanov, a physician and educator. Wendy runs Huggaroo with technical and design assistance from Martin, and both co-founders are actively involved in the development of every new Huggaroo product.
We had a chance to speak with them and learn more about the Huggaroo story, how they divide the responsibilities of running a successful business, and how they’re using 2-day delivery to boost conversions and customer satisfaction.
The Huggaroo story
Finding products that addressed a pain point
Before Huggaroo, Wendy and Martin began designing products in the early 2000s based on their own personal needs. The first products they ever produced were microwavable heating pads and a child-size weighted blanket.
The microwavable heating pads were for Wendy and Martin, who got occasional migraines and muscle tension from working on computers.
The weighted blanket was for their older son, who had trouble sleeping. They tried limiting screen time, warm milk, reading, even yoga, and nothing helped. They would hear their son humming from his room, trying to relax every night. Desperate for a solution, Wendy discovered weighted blankets and ordered a custom-sized blanket to try out.
“To our amazement and delight, it worked! Max could finally relax and drift off to sleep. In speaking to other parents, we discovered that our predicament was by no means unique – parents all around us were struggling with similar issues and were desperate for solutions.” – Wendy Jordanov
They knew they could create a better quality blanket than was available at the time. They sourced softer, higher-quality covers, made the covers removable and machine washable, and adjusted the weight to better suit a young child. Whereas they had to wait a few weeks before getting their child-sized custom blanket, they could make it easy for parents to order one that was already made.
From initial idea to a booming business
In 2016, Wendy and Martin founded Huggaroo to create products their family could no longer live without, and in June 2017 they sold their first product.
Since then, their product catalog has grown from 2 to 20+ items, and they are continually developing new products, applying for patents, adding retailers and marketplaces, and expanding geographically. Huggaroo products are now sold in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, in addition to the United States. Later this year they plan to expand to Canada as well.
The original Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap was named The Top Choice and The Best of the Best in October 2019 by the Chicago Tribune, and their products were featured on the Today Show in December 2019. Huggaroo has been written up in Forbes, Inc, Women’s Health, Parade, the Daily Beast, Reader’s Digest and many other publications. Huggaroo products were included in celebrity swag bags at the 2019 Oscars and Emmys, as well as at the 12th annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Tournament.
Tapping into automation and outsourcing for growth
Huggaroo’s inspiring success story was built on a solid foundation; a real-life need that the founders experienced themselves. But it takes hard work and strategy to grow a business to what Wendy and Martin have built Huggaroo into.
“Automation and outsourcing of responsibilities have been key to our growth.” – Wendy Jordanov
The Huggaroo founders enjoy collaborating with each other on the development of every new product. With some new ideas, it takes months of work, sourcing, and refinements to transition from initial concept to production-ready final design. Bringing new, original products to life, hearing back from happy customers, and using Huggaroo to make a difference in the lives of others are the highlights of owning the business to both Wendy and Martin. As far as the daily operations are concerned, they divide their responsibilities with clear swim lanes. Wendy manages all the day-to-day issues, from project management and finances to customer service. Martin handles technical issues, integrations, photography and graphics design.
Knowing they would need key partnerships to grow, the Huggaroo founders took the time to develop relationships with suppliers in the United States and China, warehousing, fulfillment and shipping companies, accountants, attorneys, and translators. These companies and individuals were instrumental in Huggaroo’s ability to scale, develop and manufacture new products, and expand.
One warehouse to nationwide 2-day delivery
Before Deliverr, Huggaroo worked with a warehouse/3PL partner in Houston, TX. They wanted to offer free 2-day delivery to their customers, but did the math and found it would be too expensive to accomplish that from their Houston facility.
With most of their customers living on the East or West Coast, Deliverr offered a few advantages for Huggaroo.
- Very reasonable 2-day delivery rates
- Seamless automation with Shopify
- Seamless automation with other platforms that they wanted to grow on, such as Walmart and eBay
- Marketing aids (fast tags for Shopify, Walmart, eBay)
“The benefits of being able to offer free 2-day delivery to our customers and grow on marketplaces that we had neglected far outweigh the little bit of extra time we have to spend on shipping/monitoring our inventory at Deliverr. Over time, I expect that this process will become even easier, as we become more and more familiar with our shipping configurations to Deliverr.” – Wendy Jordanov
How 2-day delivery increased business across channels
Huggaroo shared some of their data from March 16 (their first sale with Deliverr) to April 15, compared with the same period of time prior to working with Deliverr.
“You can see the numbers for yourself – there are impressive improvements across the board.” – Wendy Jordanov
On their Shopify store, they saw an improved conversion rate and improved cart abandonment recovery following 2-day delivery.
Total sales increased 307% in the first 30 days of using Deliverr for fulfillment. The overall conversion rate increased by 302% to 3%.
Conversion rates improved across all channels – from organic search to paid search, social media, and email marketing.
Here’s a few ways Huggaroo used their 2-day delivery promise and displayed Deliverr’s badging across their website.
1) On their homepage, under the benefits of buying directly from them
2) Across their listings, for when shoppers are browsing products
3) On individual listing pages, taking advantage of NextDay Delivery speeds for certain areas
On Walmart.com, Huggaroo saw negligible sales during Q4 of 2019, with two active listings and no free expedited shipping. Huggaroo began actively selling on Walmart the same time they began working with Deliverr. They used our Walmart direct integration, got access to Walmart ads through Deliverr, and have been using 2-day delivery and marketplace ads to generate daily orders.
Like Walmart and Shopify, they saw increased sales on eBay after adding eBay Fast ‘N Free tags on their listings.
Lowering the cost of acquisition on ads
In addition to getting higher conversions on marketplaces and their own website, their fast delivery promise has helped them make their Google ads and social media campaigns more effective. The conversion rates of Huggaroo’s Google ads have risen by 337-415% (currently at 5.46-6.88%). The cost/conversion has simultaneously declined by 66-76%.
The Deliverr experience
Wendy and Martin told us that Huggaroo began working with Deliverr for multiple reasons, including:
- Reasonable prices
- Seamless integration
- Intuitive and uncluttered user interface
- Easy carton/LTL shipment scheduling
- Automated billing, real-time inventory monitoring
- Multi-channel integration
- Multi-facility inventory distribution and fulfillment
- No lost items to date
- Quick receiving
In their own words, “Overall, it has been a positive experience. I want to give credit to the person who reached out to me in the first place and who has been instrumental in making our onboarding experience as glitch-free and as pleasant as it could possibly be – Tim McDonnell. I wish everyone we worked with were as responsive, competent, friendly, and invested in our success and positive experience as Tim has been. It has been an absolute pleasure working with him. He is a tremendous asset to Deliverr. Thank you, Tim!” – Wendy Jordanov
Thank you, Tim!
Huggaroo uses our Shopify and Walmart direct integrations.